Paddle Notes: Big Bear Lake is the ideal kayaking,
SUP paddling, kayak fishing and camping get-away for
visitors that want to explore nature and have a
unique mountain experience.
Credit Sharon LuVisi
The breathtaking scenery
will help relax the mind and soul of all who take
time to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of Big Bear
Lake. Big Bear Lake provides stunning scenery, and
year-round outdoor recreational activities that will
satisfy the entire family.
From kayak fishing and
SUP paddling to snowshoeing and skiing, this area is
a wonderland of activity that will satisfy many
outdoor enthusiasts. Big Bear Lake is a very popular
summer and winter vacation spot, which means boat
congestion on the summer weekends.
There are two
free public boat launches. The Duane Boyer public
boat launch is located on the northwestern shore of
the lake at 38925 North Shore Drive, one-half mile
west of the town of Fawnskin. The other free public
boat launch, MWD East, is located on the
northeastern end of the lake, a-quarter-of-a-mile
west of the Stanfield cutoff at 41911 North Shore
Kayak Fishing: After some time spent paddling
around the shores of Big Bear Lake, it is time to
unwind and fish. Anglers will find plenty of
opportunity to catch rainbow trout, largemouth and
smallmouth bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill.
Rainbow trout is the most sought after fish at Big
Bear Lake with bass running a close second. Other
species of fish taken here include carp, crappie,
largemouth bass, catfish and bluegill. Many kayak
anglers have had success trolling for trout along
the shoreline, which is also the safest place to
paddle on the lake, due to the abundance of
watercraft this destination receives in the summer.
Big Bear Lake is one of the most popular trout
kayak fishing lakes in California. After the first
major warm spell in spring, look to the east end of
the lake near the Stanfield cut-off for early season
action. This is the shallowest section of the lake
and is where the water will warm up first in the
Yearly the Department of Fish and Game stocks the
lake with 38,000 rainbows in the 10 to 11 inch range
and over 75,000 rainbows in the 7 to 8 inch range,
along with 150,000 fingerlings. The Fishing
Association of Big Bear Lake also stocks the lake
each year and sponsors the May Trout Classic.
Wind & Weather Conditions: The average summer
daytime high air temperature is in the mid-70s.
Summer storms causing flash floods with lightning
are a common occurrence in the summer especially in
the month of August. In the winter, Big Bear Lake
turns into a land of winter recreational activity.
During the winter the lake’s water surface can
freeze over. It usually begins to snow in this area
by the first of November and melts by the end of
May. Weather Conditions Ph: 909 866-7623
Terrain: One of Big Bear's biggest attractions is
the lake itself, offering 22 miles of shoreline to
be explored. If you enjoy waterskiing a power boat
is a must or if you prefer to slow it down a bit
paddle around the emerald-lined shores in a kayak or
canoe. As you paddle, keep your eyes peeled for
bears and other critters within the boundaries of
the surrounding forest. This high elevation mountain
lake, encompassed by a dense aspen forest, has homes
along the shoreline on the southern side of the
Open: Big Bear Lake is open daily all year for
boating except when the lake is frozen over during
the winter. The public boat launches are open from
April 1st to November 30th. Night boating is
permitted with running lights. The maximum boat
length allowed on Big Bear Lake is twenty-six feet.
Boats less than twelve feet in length must stay
between the 5 m.p.h. buoys around the perimeter of
the lake and the shoreline.
Big Bear Lake has a 35
m.p.h. boat speed limit except within the 5 m.p.h.
buoy zones. Kayaks and canoes must carry type I, II,
III or V wearable flotation devices for each person
and obtain a daily use permit available at most
marinas, and public boat launches. All kayaks and
canoes must be clean and dry and undergo a mandatory
inspection for Quagga Mussels. Boats that fail will
not be permitted to launch.
Fees: There are free boat launch accesses at the
two public boat launches. Boating permits are
required for a fee. The campground charges a fee to
camp and for pets.
Facilities: There are jet and waterskiing, fishing,
windsurfing, SUP paddling, swimming, sailing, power
boating, hiking and bicycling trails, a snack bar,
boat rentals, and two free public boat launches.
Directions: From Silverwood Lake, take Highway
138 east nine miles to Highway 18 east twenty-seven
miles. Turn left on Highway 38, North Shore Drive.
The Duane Boyer public boat launch is located about
one mile down on the right on Highway 38.